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Garabrant brought home to family

Community awaits his return to New Hampshire

A team of U.S. Marines carried the casket containing the body of Lance Cpl. Brandon Garabrant from a plane at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Monday, as Garabrant’s family looked on.

“It was an emotional experience for me. I’m glad he’s back home now,” said his mother, Jessie Garabrant of Rindge, on Tuesday.

The 19-year-old Garabrant, a ConVal High School graduate, died along with two other Marines in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan on June 20.

Jessie Garabrant said the Marine Corps had flown her, Brandon’s siblings, Jacob and Mykala, and his father, John Garabrant of Greenfield, from Manchester to Dover, where they were able to observe as the flag-draped casket was carried from an Air Force plane.

She said the ceremony was brief and dignified.

Jessie Garabrant, who is now back home, is in the process of working with the Marines to make arrangements for her son’s body to be returned to New Hampshire. He will be flown from Dover to Manchester, but the schedule for that transfer had not been finalized as of late Wednesday.

Maj. Jennifer Piggott, an Air Force mortuary affairs officer, said Wednesday that Garabrant’s body is at the Mortuary Affairs Office at the Dover base, and will likely remain there for a few days before being returned to New Hampshire.

George Clark, the fire chief in Temple, where Garabrant was an active firefighter before he left for military service, said members of his department plan to be on hand with their trucks when the casket arrives in Manchester.

“We’re just waiting to find out when,” Clark said. “We’re told it could be four to seven days. We’re trying to get set up to be at the airport to meet him and to be in the procession to the funeral home in Peterborough.”

Officials at Jellison Funeral Home in Peterborough had not yet met with the Garabrant family to plan a memorial service, according to a funeral home representative on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Jessie Garabrant said the family may ask to use the facilities at ConVal High School for a memorial service, given the expectation of a large turnout.

ConVal Dean of Faculty Gib West said Wednesday that the school has not yet been contacted by anyone from Garabrant’s family. He said school officials would be glad to discuss options for using school facilities with the family.

Garabrant will eventually be buried at the N.H. State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.

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